By Kalu Eziyi, Umuahia
The Federal Government has been urged to jettison its proposal to disengage N-Power beneficiaries, saying it could lead to increase in crime wave across the country.
National Chairman of Isun Multipurpose Cooperative Society, Eng Isaac Nkole , who made the appeal during a press briefing in Umuahia, Abia State, said the proposal would be counter productive.
He said that the scheme had made tremendous impacts in some key sectors of the economy like agriculture and education, hence, discontinuing with the programme “is ill-advised and makes no economic sense.”
Nkole said that a number of university graduates had been engaged in teaching primary school pupils through N-Power, a development, he noted had improved in the quality of education in primary schools especially in rural communities.
He further argued that disengaging the beneficiaries after giving them hope and little succour for about four years would not only worsen the unemployment situation in the country but lead to increase in crime wave as well as suicide cases.
He said ” The introduction of N-Power stands out as one of the best policies of the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari. A lot of graduates have been engaged through the scheme.
“Some of them are in N-Teach, N-Agro, N-Tax and N-build. I appeal to President Buhari not to listen to anyone advising him to disengage the beneficiary as being speculated that it will be stopped by the 26th of July.
“The questions are : If you disengage these graduates that are helping to improve the quality of education in primary schools, where do you want them to go? Is it to the over-saturated labour market or the crime industry?”
Nkole who said Buhari’s administration had made appreciable efforts in the fight against poverty through some laudable programmes like Covid -19 loan, Trader Money, and N-Power, urged the President not to relent.
He promised that the Isun Cooperative Society as one of the accredited cooperative societies in the disbursement of the Covid -19 loan, would ensure “it gets to the people in the grass roots equitably”.
“This is the first time the down trodden in society are getting interest -free federal loans without stress. It’s amazing and it has restored the hope of many homes today.”
Nkole who said beneficiaries in the household category got up to N500,000 per person payable after three years, advised them to invest the money wisely, noting that “it’s a loan and not grant”.
He hinted that disbursement for the SME category would soon commence, and commended President Buhari for his commitment in eliminating poverty among Nigerians.